Rutgers added it’s top specialist target of the 2022 recruiting class this past weekend as kicker Jai Patel committed to the program while on campus for a camp on Saturday. He announced the decision publicly on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, just over a week since taking an unofficial visit.
The South Brunswick native is joining the program as a preferred walk-on with the opportunity to earn a scholarship if he ultimately wins the starting job. This was typical of how head coach Greg Schiano handled specialist roles in his first tenure. It makes sense he would do the same now, especially with fewer scholarships available with the 2022 class.
Patel performed well on Saturday during a specialists camp at Rutgers and has been pursued by the current coaching staff since their arrival. Although he recently made visits to N.C. State and Charlotte, Patel decided to stay home and become a Scarlet Knight.
Last season for South Brunswick, Patel made 7 of 8 field goal attempts, including a long of 40 yards, and was a perfect 22 of 22 with PAT’s. He is known for a strong work ethic and strong technique. Patel should compete for the starting job at placekicker as soon as he arrives on campus next year.
He is rated a 5-star kicker and 3-star punter per Kohl’s Kicking and rated the 27th best kicker overall in 2022 class. Their scouting report states the following:
“Patel’s most recent camp was a 2021 May Showcase. He did very well in the field goal charting phase at camp. At Kohl’s National Scholarship Camp in July of 2020 he scored 28 points on FG’s and had a KO score of 106.73! His kickoffs are solid for a rising senior in high school. Patel is one of the cleanest ball strikers in his class and the drill work at multiple camps demonstrate that. Patel has good leg speed and a dependable leg swing. If he can continue to develop athletically in the coming months he will draw the interest from multiple D1 programs.”
To watch highlights of Patel, click here.